South East Wales

Celebrations as Cardiff City return to Premier League

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Media captionFans react to Cardiff's promotion

Cardiff City fans have been celebrating after the club clinched promotion to the Premier League.

The Bluebirds' 0-0 draw against Reading on the final day of the season was enough to bring an end to the club's four-year absence from the top flight.

They needed to match or better rivals Fulham's result to claim the second automatic promotion spot.

At the start of the season Cardiff were rank outsiders for promotion but have defied the odds.

Supporters were queuing outside pubs near the ground from 08:00 BST on Sunday, ahead of the lunchtime kick-off.

And then a sell-out Cardiff City Stadium celebrated wildly at the final whistle, with thousands invading the pitch and fireworks set off.

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Media captionNeil Warnock receives a phone call from afar

Cardiff's return to the Premier League could see a return of the south-Wales derby with rivals Swansea - provided the Swans can avoid relegation.

The last time the two sides met, Swansea took the spoils with a 3-0 home win.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan is mobbed by supporters at the final whistle
Image copyright Reuters

That match came the last time Cardiff were in the top flight - the 2013-14 season. However, their debut Premier League season ended in disaster with the club finishing bottom.

Warnock said delivering promotion was "the biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute mile".

He added: "Nobody gave us a chance. I am so proud of them. I was better when I heard the Birmingham score. I feel really proud at the job I have done. I didn't think we would get in the play-offs let alone the Premier League."

There are currently no plans to hold a parade following the promotion.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Manager Neil Warnock enjoys the celebrations at the end

Congratulatory messages started flowing in after the match with First Minister Carwyn Jones tweeting: "Looking forward to seeing Premier League football in our capital city again," while Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns also sent his congratulations.

BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted he looked forward to welcoming the club back on the show next season.

Image copyright Anthony Collins
Image caption Cardiff fans on the pitch at the end of the game

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